6 Tips for Easier Laundromat Trips

Industrial washing machines in public laundromat, with laundry in basket
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Going to a laundromat or a public laundry room in your apartment complex or dorm is no one's favorite activity. However, there are ways to make the laundry trips quicker, easier, and even less costly. Learn the top six tips to save you time, money, and get the best results for your laundry efforts.

  • 01 of 06

    Save Time: Sort Your Laundry at Home

    Pile of clothes
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    If you sort your laundry at home, you'll save time and have more work space than at the laundromat. You'll arrive at the laundromat feeling more organized and can immediately grab machines and get the loads underway.

    Use pillowcases or different colored laundry bags for the sorted white and dark clothes for each load.

    Another way to save time; have plenty of the correct change. Change machines are often broken and your fellow users may not have change to share. Prepare before you go!

  • 02 of 06

    Save Money: Take Your Own Detergent

    Detergent Pods
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    The single-use detergent packs sold at laundromats cost more than double what you pay per load for products brought from home so take your own detergent and other products with you.

    While large containers of detergent are often the most cost effective, there is no need to haul large containers on each trip to the laundry room. If you prefer a powdered detergent formula, scoop the correct amount for each load into small plastic sealed bags. Liquid detergents or fabric softeners can go in a small...MORE plastic container with a tight lid.

    Or, you can opt for single load detergents and fabric softeners. They are more expensive per load but the convenience is unmatched. You'll save money by bringing them from home rather than purchasing at the laundromat.

    What's the best detergent for the laundromat? Only you can determine the best detergent for your household

  • 03 of 06

    Save Your Clothes: Check the Washer and Dryer Before Using

    Girl Leaning into Laundromat Washer to Get Clothes
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    Before you set clothes on top of the washer or dryer make sure the surface is clean. At best, you'll get sticky detergent residue. At worst, you'll find chlorine bleach that will permanently ruin your clothes.

    Always keep an old rag or towel handy and give the washer or folding table a quick wipe down. Always check any automatic bleach dispensers to make sure they are empty and dry. If not, use a paper towel to soak up any leftover bleach.

    If the appliance is stained or dirty or not...MORE working correctly, be a good Samaritan and clean it up or at least report the problem to the manager.

    Look inside appliances, too. You never know what the last person left in the washer or dryer. Not everyone is considerate. You may find a tube of lipstick that was left in a pocket and then it gets left in the dryer or washer. It's worth a few extra seconds to check before you have to deal with the aftermath.

    Or, you may find leftover clothing. Just one red sock can turn an entire load of clothes pink. Remove the clothing and leave it in the laundromat's lost and found bin. 

    One last tip, look at the settings on the machine before you hit start. The last thing you need is a load of delicate lingerie traveling through hot water and the heavy duty cycle that the last person used.

  • 04 of 06

    Save Money: Use the Dryers Wisely

    Laundry mat clothes dryer
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    Before you start the dryer make sure the lint trap is clean. You'll prevent fires and your clothes will dry faster, saving you money. Find a warm dryer because starting with a dryer that is already warm will get those clothes done more quickly.

    As you load the clothes into the dryer, fluff each piece of clothing by giving it a quick shake. The clothes will dry more quickly and with fewer wrinkles. Be sure you get everything in the dryer before you start it up. Opening and closing the door...MORE loses heat and time.

    Now that you've spent all that money and time getting those clothes dry, be sure they arrive home that way. Keep a large black plastic bag with your laundry supplies just in case you encounter rain on the way home.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Save Your Sanity: Use Smart Phone Laundry Apps

    Laundry Apps
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    Smartphone and other mobile devices laundry applications can help you find a laundromat, translate care labels, and treat stains with helpful tips. Laundromats are the perfect place to put them to use.

    One must-have app is a laundry timer so you can run errands or concentrate on something else while your clothes are washing. The app gets you back to the washer when the cycle ends, preventing the disasters of someone else dumping your wet or freshly dried clothes on the floor.

  • 06 of 06

    Save The Environment: Go Green

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    If you want to reduce your carbon footprint at the laundromat, opt for a front loading washer instead of a top loader because it uses 50 percent less water. Always wash a full load (you'll save money that way, too) and choose a bio-based laundry detergent and use cold water as much as possible.

    Skip the laundromat dryers and take your clothes home to air dry. If you do use the dryers, fold or hang clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer to reduce wrinkling and to skip ironing later.